Chapter 8: Be Free for Emotional Closeness

Chapter Summary

I, Dave Lewis, have a theory:  romantic love or “falling in love with a person feels so wonderful because the one who falls believes strongly that the object of this love may be the perfect person to share life, return love, become best friends, satisfy sexually, and grow into the soul-mate for which we long.

  • Potentially, in our marriage, all bridges of relationships will be crossed – friendship, fellowship, physical, sexual.
  • With that said, who helps us know what true love, great friendships, emotional closeness, and sharing spiritually actually involves or even what these things are?
  • This chapter helps us learn about increasing intimacy instead of just coping; namely, Emotional Responding instead of responding with Facts/Reasons, Criticism, Complaints or Neglect.
  • Based on the relational healing that has occurred, we want you to know how to develop true intimacy.
  • How helpful it would be to see situations through your spouse’s eyes, to know how to meet emotionally-charged statements with proper, healthy emotion and loving responses!
  • What a difference it would make to see that great conversations with active listening and proper responses remove aloneness and increase intimacy.
  • Also, if you have time try to focus on the extra work related to Courting and Respect.
  • Philippians 3:10 is the memory verse for Chapter 8.
  • Page 82 and the feeling faces are great discussion starters by simply asking, “Which of these or pick 3 faces that indicate emotions you’ve felt today?  “If appropriate, would you tell me the events that brought out these emotions?
  • Page 88 on “Dating your Spouse is a very important discipline to establish.  Give yourself time to be alone with your spouse to listen, ask questions, use the 52-Week Plan or other date night ideas.  (, )


Small Group Questions

  • Reviewing the “Unhealthy Responses on pages 79 and 80, identify one or two of them that you use occasionally.
  • Do you know who taught you to respond that way?
  • In what ways are these 4 unhealthy responses… unhealthy?
  • What does Romans 12:15 say about how to respond when emotion is revealed in conversation or you identify sadness or joy in circumstances?
  • Read Proverbs 15:1 and James 1:19 in your group.  How would applying these passages reduce the amount of fear and aloneness in relationships?
  • Describe why you believe the IE material makes such a big deal about learning to respond properly to emotion as it relates to the title of this chapter:  Be Free for Emotional Closeness.
  • How do the principles we’ve learned and experienced so far in IE help make appropriate emotional responses more probable in the future?  Or, how does the condition of a person’s heart (emotional capacity cup) directly relate to the words and attitudes expressed?
  • Recall a time when your spouse responded well to you and helped you feel free for emotional closeness.
  • Think of a happy childhood memory.  Turn to your spouse and share that event (husband first) with your partner.  Let your partner respond with encouraging words and gestures of support.
  • Think of a painful childhood memory. Turn to your spouse (wife first), and share that event with your partner. Let your partner respond with comforting words and gestures. Now switch roles.